Why is it so many spend so much time pointing out the sins of others, and not enough time living in the love of the Divine? This question has been driving me crazy over this past year. Over this past few years I’ve had too many conversations with people who feel it is their responsibility to point out the sins of others, and I am very uncomfortable with those who believe they have that right, or responsibility.
Not long ago, I ran into a man who told me it was his calling to point out the sins of others, based on Ezekiel 3:17-18. In fact, he believed it was every christians calling to do the same. The problem with this, is that is misquoting Ezekiel has nothing to do with calling out others for what one sees as a sin. When we read Ezekiel in context we find it applies specifically to Ezekiel [Ezekiel is made the watchmen, not others], and not to people in general. Besides, to truly be a Watchman one must be willing to take the sins of the people upon themselves [4:4ff], not just point them out. The Divine is clearly speaking to Ezekiel. Keep in mind, if anyone believes they are to call out the sins of others based on Ezekiel I hope you enjoy baking, and eating, bread using human excrement for fuel, in the streets so everyone can see, kind of puts a new twist to the story [Ezekiel 4:12]. The only way anyone can say we must follow this reading on a personal basis, is to take it out of context.
Many ask, ‘does that mean we have no right to judge others?’ My response is always, ‘why, yes – yes it does.’ Remember when Jesus shared the idea, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” [Matthew 7:1]? You do? Cool. So, what’s the issue? It seems pretty simple to me.
First, anytime we judge others, we do so on a Superficial basis. I don’t care who you are, no matter how hard you try, you will tend to pass judgement based on appearance [John 7:24]. What I have found is that many who claim they are called to call out the sins of others, do so on how a person looks. You don’t think that is true, how many times do we judge others because of the way they dress?
Second, when we judge, we are Hypocritical in that judgment. In Matthew’s recoding of the ministry of Jesus [7:1], Jesus condemns the idea of being hypocritical in our relationships with others. In fact, Jesus gives a pretty strong warning against doing so [7:3-5]
Third, it never fails, when we judge others we are always Harsh, and Unforgiving. When Paul writes to Titus, he makes it clear that we are “always to be gentle toward everyone” [Titus 3:2]. I’ve never met a person who feels called to point out the sins of others who do so in a gentle, loving way – never.
Lastly, when we judge others, we are always being Self-Righteous. The idea that the Divine opposes the proud, escapes many [James 4:6]. In fact, if we look at Luke’s recoding of the ministry of Jesus, we get a pretty good picture of this when we read about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector [Luke 18:9-14]
No matter who you are, when you judge others you often, if not always, do so based on rumors, false facts, and personal points of view. It does not matter how you see it, or who you are, not one of us is able to judge the deeds of another. When we do, we always use false points of origins, and personal views. Instead of spending time judging others, why not spend the time loving people. After all, others will know you are a follower of Christ by the way you love them.